Network and Learn
Sometimes you can meet people in your network that have a lot to teach you. Which is how I ended up learning more about Facebook ads from PRKriystna. Or you find a mentor who can tell you about their own experiences like Amy Dionne. Or you want to run ideas by someone and you find a professional contact.
There's only so much self-teaching you can fit in during the day - I'm trying to learn code with Code Academy, reading daily articles from HubSpot and Digiday, and writing to keep myself fresh.
Sometimes that person isn't in your network yet and you need to go out and find them. Or at least find a place to learn.
Networking events are not the best place to learn, but there are some geared toward teaching around topics with the benefit of networking. These events don't have to be industry conferences or weekend seminars. They can be monthly events with people in your area.
Networking events to attend
- Social Media Breakfast
- American Marketing Association (AMA) Academy
- AMA Luncheons
- Houston Interactive Marketing Association (HIMA) events
- Business Marketing Association (BMA) luncheons
Start with these types of activities and see what you can learn. I went to a great networking event this morning about social media automation. It was a worthwhile few hours spent learning, building my network with people in my field, and potentially meeting new clients.
You don't have to be a marketer to attend! Small business owners and companies like to drop into these places to see where they can grow their initiatives, what changes there have been, and to create connections with marketers that can grow their business.
While networking online can be helpful, it's not always the most fruitful way to spend your time. Find Facebook Groups that inspire you, Twitter chats that rock, some sites to subscribe, and inspirational podcasts.
Try not to get too sucked into the black hole of the internet in the search for knowledge. Soon you'll find yourself on Wikipedia trying to find out when the last time that Vanilla Ice released an album.
Learning by doing is the next step. Find the clients that will let you experiment in a new area and build that into your budget with them.